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Sally Wilson

Sally is a key member of the MoneyMaxim editorial team. She is a frequent hire-car user and often goes on holiday with her family. With an interest in getting great value for money, Sally shares her hints and tips for travelling and insurance.

Sally Wilson is one of our Team of Experts

The change in entry rules for young people means Spanish holidays are back on the cards

We look at the best places to explore with a hire car in Southern Spain and Portugal

sandy beach with waves

From today 12 to 17 year olds can travel to Spain without being vaccinated – provided they test negative for Covid. This lifting of restrictions has come in time for families to enjoy half term and Easter in the sun and gives greater confidence for booking holidays ahead.

Many airlines have seen a big leap in the number of bookings and with this comes a rise in demand for car hire – especially in the most popular destinations such as Southern Spain and Portugal. Get ahead of the rush and book your holiday car hire today.

We are seeing car hire selling out fast particularly in the favourite holiday hotspots. A rush to travel after lockdowns and the chip shortage are a combination that could mean disappointment if you leave booking car hire until the last minute. We recommend getting yours locked in now.

If you are hoping to get away from the crowds on your holiday then a rental car is the perfect solution. There are plenty of off the beaten track places to visit in Southern Spain and Portugal that are easy to reach when you have a hire car.

Here are our top picks for you.

Southern Spain

Alicante – Visit the Canelobre Caves. Just a 15 mile drive from the city, these caves are thousands of years old and provide refreshing shade when the heat becomes too much.

Malaga – Take a hike! Yes, if you’ve had enough of lazing about on the beach, there are numerous hiking trails around Malaga.

Cordoba – Go on a day trip to Seville. The cities are less than a two hour drive apart and Seville is one of the most beautiful Spanish cities

Seville – If you are already in Seville then why not visit the Pueblos Blancos. This set of villages with their distinct whitewashed houses are just over an hour away by car.

Murcia – Your teenagers (or you!) may fancy something a little more adventurous. Try your hand at rafting in Almadenes Canyon.

Almeria – Gold mining was once a booming industry in the region. Now the abandoned mines are a tourist attraction with several being used as film locations.


Alentejo – This region of Portugal is often overlooked by tourists but is home to vast plains as well as enchanting coves and villages such as Porto Covo.

Peneda Geres National Park – A comfortable drive from Porto, this park offers a different landscape and experience with waterfalls, valleys and mountains to explore.

Sortelha – In the far west and well off the usual tourist trail, Sortelha is an ancient hamlet overlooked by a splendid medieval castle.

Silves – This city is less than an hours’ drive along the coast from Faro. It is one of the oldest cities in the Algarve with a strong Moorish influence.

One way to possibly save some money – and find a rental car more easily – is to consider flying to an airport that is further away from the resorts. Flights can often be cheaper to locations that do not see a rush in the holiday seasons and there may be more availability with car hire.

Along with the lifting of the vaccination travel requirements for teenagers – Spain has also made several of its motorways toll free. In Portugal you may wish to consider a transponder if you are planning on using any of the motorways. We have lots of information about using transponders on Portugal’s toll roads..

Along with car hire in Spain and Portugal, we can also provide quotes for car hire excess insurance – it can cost from as little as £1.85 per day for that extra peace of mind when driving a rental car in a foreign country.

Image courtesy of: Pixabay